The family Hygrophoraceae consists of some 9 genera and over 300 species worldwide. They are commonly known
as the waxy caps because of the waxy appearance of the basidiome. The genus Hygrocybe is one of the most
colourful within the Agaricales, often boasting bright reds and yellow.
Gill attachment is adnate to subdecurrent but occasionally decurrent (as in subgen. Camarophyllus). Gill trama are
variable and can be divergent (as in Hygrophorus) to parallel or interwoven (Hygrocybe). Spores are usually
ellipsoid and smooth. However one important microscopic character is the basidium which in many members of
the Hygropharaceae is narrow and elongated usually (5-10x width).